Resources

Sex workers all over the world were among the hardest hit communities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be impacted by this global public health crisis. The structural oppression that sex workers faced before the pandemic as a result of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination was exacerbated as sex workers experienced hardship, a total loss of income, increased harassment, human rights abuses, and health inequalities. The vast majority of sex workers were excluded from emergency responses and national social protection schemes.

Sex workers were among the hardest hit at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be impacted by this global public health crisis. The challenges that sex workers faced before COVID-19, as a result of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, were all exacerbated by the pandemic.

The 2023-2028 Global Fund Strategy will guide Global Fund approaches, decision-making, and investment for the next 6 years in a 70-page document. It is important because it describes what the Global Fund will do and how it will do it. The Strategy will influence how investment will be disbursed at the country level, how and who will implement programmes, and how and who will be involved in making the decisions.

Theme: Health

This is the fourth set of videos in a series from NSWP called Global Fund Basics.

This set of videos covers the new Global Fund Strategy 2023-2028. 

Video 1 covers an introduction to the Strategy and the Strategy Framework.

Video 2 covers the Evolving Objective and begins to look at the Strategy Narrative in more detail.

Video 3 covers the Mutually Reinforcing Contributory Objectives, maximising engagement and leadership of communities and maximising health equity, gender equality and human rights.

Universal Health Coverage speaks to the global goal of providing all people with the health care they need without creating undue financial burdens on the individual. In many parts of the world, health provision and access to health services remains extremely poor, particularly for criminalised and marginalised populations such as sex workers and other key populations.

Sex workers worldwide are overwhelmingly excluded from social protection schemes and government emergency responses put in place for other workers. Criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and the failure to recognise sex work as work compound sex workers’ exclusion and foster economic insecurity. Sex work must be recognised as work and all aspects decriminalised to ensure that sex workers can access the same social protections, emergency financial support, and labour rights as all other workers.

It has been a relatively quiet period for the Global Fund, with little activity that impacts on sex workers.

The 40th Global Fund Board meeting was held in Geneva between 14th-15th November. The Board approved the Global Fund Secretariat operating expenses (OPEX) and work-plan, and it remains within the budget limit set by the Board at a maximum of US$900 million over the 2017-2019 period.

Theme: Health

This systematic review and meta-analysis, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), has found that sex workers who have experienced 'regressive policing' (including arrest, extortion and violence from police), are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence. The study examines the impacts of criminalisation on sex workers’ safety, health, and access to services, using data from 33 countries. Sex workers' health and safety was found to be at risk not only in countries where sex work was criminalised, but also in Canada, which has introduced the “Nordic model”, where purchasing sex is specifically criminalised.

An alliance of key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV, treatment activists, and supporters has formed to organise an international community-led HIV conference in 2020, following the decision to host the 2020 International AIDS Conference in the USA.

This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: Sex Workers’ Experiences of Stock-outs of HIV/STI Commodities and Treatments. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and health service providers. 

Theme: Health

Globally, sex workers are disproportionately affected by HIV, with prevalence estimated to be up to 34 times higher among sex workers than the general population. Access to commodities for HIV prevention, detection and access to treatment is critical to the health and wellbeing of sex workers around the world. Interventions recommended in World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for key populations, including sex workers, include comprehensive condom and lubricant programming; HIV testing and counselling; HIV treatment and care; and sexual and reproductive health interventions.

Theme: Health

Between 23rd and 27th July 2018, more than 120 sex workers from more than 25 countries attended the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS2018) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The bi-annual International AIDS Conferences are the largest global gathering of HIV academics, implementers, policy makers, people living with HIV and those most affected by HIV, including sex workers.

The NSWP Senior Programme Officer, Mick Matthews, is a member of the Communities Delegation to the Global Fund Board, which receives regular updates on Global Fund Board Committee meetings. Key issues discussed in recent meetings are summarised below.

Theme: Health

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (APN+), has published a how-to guide that aims to strengthen active community engagement within the Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs) of the Global Fund.

Theme: Health

April 2018

Suspension of the Partnership with Heineken

The Global Fund had agreed a partnership with Heineken to utilise their expertise in supply chain management, and has since announced that it has withdrawn from this partnership over concerns about Heineken’s use of female beer promoters.

Theme: Health

This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper on Sex Workers’ Access to Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and health service providers. 

You can download this 5-page Community Guide above. This resource is available in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. 

Theme: Health

Globally sex workers experience a number of barriers to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, ranging from explicit exclusion from international financing to discrimination within SRH services leading to lower access rates.

This paper discusses the obstacles sex workers face when accessing SRH services, and examines the quality of services available to them. It also provides practical examples and recommendations for improving the accessibility and acceptability of SRH services for sex workers.

Theme: Health

Global community-led networks have expressed serious concerns over the decision to name San Francisco and Oakland as host cities to the International AIDS Conference in 2020, which was announced on 13th March.

Theme: Health